Program Presenter Biographies

Sarah Sloboda

Sarah Sloboda is a photographer and an optimist based in New York City. She writes, photographs, draws, designs, conceptualizes, and dabbles in ceramics. She is most famous for her work as a children’s photographer .  She photographs weddings , portraits, and rock bands, and has earned international publication of her work. Sarah is also a writing and creative coach. She worked as a writer and writer’s coach in the entertainment business for years before starting her photography practice.

It is Sarah Sloboda’s mission to provide millions of people with photographic evidence of their lives working beautifully, and she founded the RECESS network as a way to foster support amongst creatives, leading to increased success and joy.

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Sheila Finkelstein

As an artist, writer, photographer and coach , Sheila Finkelstein ’s greatest strength, and her mission in life, is opening up people, including herself ongoingly, to seeing things in new and different ways and, ultimately, empowering us in further enriching our lives. Writing and Photography are her main tools of access.

Sheila believes that the world is a playground for personal growth and development; that natural environments – gardens, woods, beaches, rivers, streams – are sources for pleasure, creativity, play and self-discovery; that expanding sensory awareness of natural and man-made environments provides access to furthering creative thinking and appreciation. Her free eZine, Picture to Ponder , is one of the avenues people have for experiencing these shifts for themselves. To get the full spectrum and variety of her work, visit her website .

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Julie Gabrielli

GOforChange founder and Publisher Julie E. Gabrielli is an award-winning architect who was instrumental in starting the sustainable design movement in Baltimore over ten years ago. She has worked with over 100 clients to help them realize their dreams, from concept to construction. As an advisor to the 2007 Solar Decathlon , Julie helped steer team LEAFHouse to a second-place-overall finish, the top-placing American team.

Julie is a practical visionary. She coaches clients to articulate their vision, conduct rigorous planning, and utilize the best-available tools. Her years of competitive sailboat racing taught her that when good design is combined with clear vision, steering for changing conditions, and a healthy respect for the forces of nature, great results are possible!

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Mare Cromwell
Mare Cromwell is the Director of Sacred Dog Productions . She is a gardener, author and speaker. With a Masters in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan, she has worked in the environmental field for 27 years, both internationally and in the Baltimore-Washington region. She has studied with a Cherokee Medicine Woman for many years. In addition to her gardening and writing efforts, Mare occasionally speaks on topics such as Environmental Hope, Living Simplicity, Deep Ecology and "Right Relationship". But most of the time, she can be found weeding someone’s garden.

Mare’s Credo: My belief is that the only real way for us to ‘heal’ the planet is for us to heal ourselves on a deeply spiritual level. When we learn to live from our higher self and truly connect with the inherent spirituality of the Earth and all that Earth Mother has given us, then the healing on the planet will follow. The healing of the planet will ensue because we will have learned how to live with respect and reverence and sustainability will be coded into all of our actions–as it was and still is coded in many indigenous people’s lives across the globe.

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Liz Graydon is the co-founder of What Better Looks Like , an organization that taps into the creative potential of people to help solve problems in their local communities.

Liz taught middle school Social Studies for 16 years, which she taught through a prism of non-violent possibilities. She spent 5 years working with Hour Children, a NY-based organization that works to support incarcerated women and their families. As part of her work there, she started a program for the teenage children of incarcerated mothers. She has facilitated nonviolence programs at C.W. Post, Pace University, Nassau Community College, SUNY Farmingdale, and through the United Nations Church Center.

It was during her years as a middle school teacher that she gained the inspiration and the tools for the What Better Looks Like Campaign.

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